Morning Bag Skate: 2017 World Championship begins

Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

The 2017 World Championship begins Friday in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. The Chicago Blackhawks will have five players competing: Michal Kempny (Czech Republic), Marcus Kruger (Sweden), Artemi Panarin (Russia) and Nick Schmaltz and Trevor van Riemsdyk (United States).

In Hawks prospect news, Alex DeBrincat had one shot in the Erie Otters’ 2-1 win in Game 1 of the OHL Championship Series on Thursday. Game 2 is Sunday in Erie.

Matthew Highmore and Nathan Noel will suit up for Saint John in Game 1 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Final on Friday.


**2017 World Championship preview: Hawks edition (SCH)

**Hawks sign Kampf to 2-year ELC (SCH)


**With Blues' lack of scoring, line changes are coming (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

**Preds’ Ellis emerging during playoffs (The Tennessean)

**Niederreiter's new contract could be quite the raise (Hockey Wilderness)

**Scandella finds himself as odd-man out after lackluster seasons (Hockey Wilderness)

**Stars sign Finnish prospect Hintz (PHT)

**Grading Antoine Roussel: The Glue Guy (Defending Big D)

**Josh Kroenke retains faith in GM Sakic despite rough season for Avs (Denver Post)


**Stanley Cup playoff schedule, matchups (SBN)

**RECAP: Rangers dominate Senators in Game 4, tie series 2-2 (Blueshirt Banter)

**Vegas signs Russian free agent Vadim Shipachyov (theScore)

**Denver’s Montgomery to get 2nd interview with Panthers (Denver Post)

**Report: Bruins talking Ryan Spooner trade (PHT)


**OHL Final: Otters beat Steelheads in Game 1 of championship series (Sportsnet)

**WHL Final: Seattle vs. Regina preview (WHL)

**Cool-headed Austin Strand helps Seattle focus on WHL title (Seattle Times)

**Giroux to captain Canada at Worlds (theScore)

**Rafter re-signs with Riveters (Blueshirt Banter)

**Oilers goalie Gustavsson signs with Linkoping in Sweden (PHT)

**Habs AHL captain Friberg signs with Frölunda in Sweden (Habs Eyes On The Prize)